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Monday, February 06, 2006

Mayor Links Video Games to Murder

All clergy, every church and synagogue in the City of New Bedford, must facilitate a positive, engaging dialogue with our young people and their families. This cycle of violence must stop. The guns have to come off the streets. The violent video games have to be taken out of our homes. Adults and children have to start coming forward with information, we must intervene to stop violence before it occurs. If you know someone who is exhibiting anti-social behavior please seek an adult, a teacher, or the authorities help. We need to know about the next Jacob Robida and stop him before it is too late.
-- Mayor Lang's Statement Regarding the Events on February 4, 2006 (emphasis mine)

Jacob Robida is a complete psycho who assaulted three customers of a bar with a hatchet and later a gun. The police chase to apprehend him ended in bloodshed, with Robida shooting his female companion in the head and a police officer before being shot himself. He died of his injuries at a Missouri hospital.

Here is a picture of him:

You might notice the backdrop. Jacob also had swastika tattoos. In addition to attempted murder, he was also being pursued for hate crimes since he had singled out a gay bar. In other words, everything points to this kid being a homicidal racist bastard.

So how do video games fit into the picture?

The simple answer is: they don't. They don't have anything to do with the story. They have no blame in the actions of Robida. They were not part of the investigation nor have they been even mentioned in any of the mainstream articles I've read on him. The closest I could get was a transcript purporting that he learned wrestling moves from games ... and let's make it clear ... Robida was not wanted for being a bad wrestler, but rather for being an insane killer.

Quite like Devin Moore, this is a violent crime linked to video games only by people trying to make a case in the media. The honorable Mayor might have well proclaimed that we need to keep jazz music or horror movies out of the homes. When in fact, we probably need to examine his economic and social policies to get anywhere near a cause for these kinds of event.

Blaming video games for a city's violent crime problems is a cheap PR tactic and as useless to the citizens as it is to the victims.

  • America's Most Wanted: Jacob Robida
  • Teen gunman's tie to woman probed
  • Shootout kills gay-bar attack suspect
  • New Bedford Mayor Cites Video Games In Recent Killings (Kotaku)

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